Transformative Travel LLC

Fly Fishing in Costa Rica for Tarpon

To see one of these majestic fish come out of nowhere as if it was shot out of a cannon, putting on a show for you and your guide, then feel your heart rate go through the roof when you set the hook to finally land one, is an experience like no other. That’s why we call them “The Silver King”.

Tarpon season in Costa Rica runs from April end through August while the world record tarpon caught in Costa Rica weighed 283 pounds. The average tarpon caught by a fly fisherman is 40 to 60 pounds averaging about 700 to a fish. 

Your day of Tarpon fishing will us begins with a hearty breakfast which is important and followed by meeting with your captain at 7:00am and keep your eyes peeled as the Tarpon can be seen feeding from there on...

The best way to catch tarpon on the fly is to catch them feeding. Water depths targeted are 5 – 20 foot deep with the color line being the top 4 feet of water. This allows us to fish intermediate tarpon lines and even floating lines on the calm conditions. When the tides start to turn and the fish turn on the “feed” button, be ready, they will eat any fly you put in front of them and this can last up to an hour.

Gear Talk

Always bring extra backing and line. A rod with a stiff action and lots of fighting power will help a lot in getting these fish to bite. We recommend a reel that has good drag system and is capable of holding a minimum of 300 yards of backing (we recommend 250).

That’s why it’s important for me to use a guide service that has plenty of experience and knowledge in this type of fishing.

You have options here. You can build your leaders or you can buy pre-built leaders. Tarpon leaders can be confusing with all of the differnent knots and different types of material that can go into them. Keep it simple, purchase pre-built leaders and have leader building material and tippet in case you run out or need to try something different. Our fishery does not require any fancy or secretive type of leader. Mono-filament leaders are just fine.

What else might you need?

We highly recommend having a waterproof boat bag or gear bags to protect your valuables and gear from getting wet. Rain jacket and rain pants will help keep you comfortable if you get caught in a small rain shower while out on the water. Even though this is the warm Caribbean, the rain can make you cold if you get exposed.

Here's our Tarpon fly fishing checklist.

  • 2x 12-14wt fly rods (Bring a backup rod as these fish do brake rods!) 
  • 1x reel (Back up if you have one)/ extra spool for heavier option fly line. 
  • 2x fly lines- intermediate sinking/ 500gr full sink (optional), (extra fly line in case you get spooled or break one)- Yes, it does happen!! 
  • 2x pre-built tarpon leaders per day(figure 1-2 leaders per day, EX: 5 days of fishing= 9 pre-built leaders) 
  • leader building material/ Tippets (For leader repair and building) backing- minimum 40-60pound test/ minimum 250 yards, 300 plus recommended (extra backing in case you get spooled)- Yes it does happen!! 
  • 1x Hook sharpener Flies- Tarpon fly box/ Tarpon baitfish box (we recommend bringing more flies than not enough, 5 days of fishing= 18- 24) 
  • Flats sneaker/ Simms zip up booty (for permit and reef fishing-the reefs are very sharp) 
  • Boat bag (water proof is preferred, keep your gear dry) 
  • Wading bag (hip/ back pack- water proof preferred) 
  • Polarized sunglasses x 2 
  • Pliers/ line cutters/ Hook sharpeners 
  • long-sleeved UV protective shirts 
  • Hat 
  • Quick dry pants/ shorts 
  • Sun buff/ face shield/ sun gloves

Have a question? We're here to help.

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